Day Before a Game Primer Circuit

Piggybacking off yesterday, here is an example of our day before a game warm up with UNH Women’s Hockey where we will program rotational med ball work.

Thought process the day before a game is simple ➡️ do things fast/powerfully/explosively, with the goal of zero resulting muscle soreness, with the hopes of getting bodies moving fast, priming them to move fast heading into game play.

💥 1/2 Kneeling Lateral Starts..
💥 Continuous Hurdle Jumps..
💥 Med Ball Side Toss..
💥 Med Ball Overhead Slam

Fill the Empty Buckets

Fill buckets that aren’t filled in sport ➡️ stressing the same movement or movement patterns over and over again is flirting with an overuse related injury.

A perfect example is shooting a puck in hockey which is a rotational movement, a movement hockey players will perform countless times over the course of the week, month or in-season period.

How do we counteract that? With a simple thought process ➡️ stay away from the buckets that are already full.

Most of our med ball work in-season (especially the second half of the in-season period) does not include a rotational component. We still use med balls to train power in various planes through a heavy dose of slam variations, throw variations, and chest pass variations during this time period, staying away from a lot of rotational throws.

Does this mean we do zero rotational med ball work? No, we’ll perform a side toss variation the day before the weekend games as a PAP type activity along with some jumping and sprinting, but the volume is extremely low (2-3 sets of 3 reps per side).

Lower Leg Maintenance

🗣 One of our major focuses the last few months has been being more consistent with lower leg health/mobility.

The importance of mobility throughout the entire lower leg can not be overstated, especially when dealing with athlete that accumulate a lot of wear and tear through running and/or jumping/landing (🏀🏐) or have their ankles locked in a brace or 🏒 skate.

The ankle/big toe/foot complex is the first thing to come in contact with the ground and any mobility issues in the lower leg complex can lead to other potential injuries up the chain.

Some of our typical mobility movements 👇

💥 Ankle Rotations to improve ankle range of motion. We typically perform 5 full circles both clockwise and counterclockwise

💥 Toe Sits to improve big toe mobility, programmed for 30 seconds or 5 belly breaths.

💥 Heel Sits with Lifts to help lengthen the anterior compartment of the lower leg, programmed for 5-8 reps each.

💥 Standing Ankle Rocks to improve ankle mobility, 8-10 reps per leg.

💥 Lateral Leg Swings, though traditionally thought of as a hip mobility drill (and rightfully so), also has some ankle mobility benefits in the frontal plane

How We Program Core Work

Yesterday Daniel Flahie asked the twitter world how they programmed core work, which for me is really simple ➡️ we try to hit each core ‘category’ multiple times a week.

First, here is how we categorize our core work ⬇️

💥Anti-Extension: rollouts, Body saws, front plank variations, etc
💥Anti-Lateral Flexion: Pallof press variations, side plank variations, etc
💥Anti-Rotation: KB Drags, Push Up Taps, DB Plank Row, etc
💥Carries: Farmers, suitcase, Goblet, Bottoms Up, etc
❌Sit Ups, crunched, Russian twists

Here is how we actually program core work ⬇️

2️⃣ Day a Week Programs: if I have a team lifting 2 days a week (in-season) we’ll perform an Anti-Extension movement both days as well as an Anti-Lateral Flexion movement both days. In addition we’ll perform a carry on one day and an Anti-Rotation movement on the other day, giving us 3 core movements a day and ☑️ off all 3 categories throughout the week.

3️⃣ Day a Week Program: when we get to 3 days a week, nothing really changes (don’t overthink this 💩). We will still perform Anti-Extension/Lateral Flexion each day, still one Anti-Rotation exercise and will now add a second carry on the third day.

4️⃣ Day a Week Program: again, not much changes, we now get to do a little more. We’ll perform an Anti-Extension each day (Rollout day 1 & 3, Front Plank variation day 2 & 4). We’ll do Anti-Lateral Flexion work daily (Side Plank Variation day 1 & 3, Pallof press variation day 2 & 4). We’ll carry things twice a week (typically suitcase one day and farmers the other). We’ll perform Anti-Rotation twice a week. .
Don’t overthink things. Keep it simple. Pound the basics.

Hope that helps 💪

Monday Musings

Happy Monday! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. Enjoy!

hello monday

  1. Here is how I think when it comes to programming, I use the 80-10-10 Rule. 80% of my programming is the stuff that I am confident works. 10% I am pretty sure is going to work, I think its worked in the past. 10% of things that I am curious to see how and if it works. But I never get too far away from that 80% – this is the stuff that everyone (for the most part) will do on a consistent basis.
  2. One thing I think that needs to be added into my programming going forward would be more Isometric work, specifically more from overcoming iso’s like pin pulls and/or presses. Great for potentiation and very rarely will someone get sore from them, making them a great in-season training option.
  3. Be fascinated with making athletes better and more resilient.

Weekend Week in Review

Another week, another group of podcasts and articles to read and listen to that I have dived into. Like every other week, there was a ton of content out there both in written form and through podcasts.

Weekend Review

For podcasts, as you can see, I went on an Art of Coaching binge to start the New Year. I first listened to the episode with Molly Binetti, really liked it, and then listened to a few more. Brett Bartholomew is someone that adds so much value to our field and his podcast is just adding more value.

For articles, its a New Year so get yourself motivated by reading Seth Godin’s Top 5% article. I am a firm believer that anyone with any type of drive will want to be and tring to be in that top 5% of whatever field we are in.



Strength Coach Podcast #246

Art of Coaching with Molly Binetti

Art of Coaching with Matt Jordan

Art of Coaching on Culture


The Top 5% by Seth Godin

5 Drills to Improve Vertical Force and Run Really Fast by Chris Korfist

5 Qualities of World-Class Leaders by Adam Ringler

20 Lessons Learned Through Coaching by Adam Ringler

Do You Program or Perform Loaded Carries?

“Every program aimed to enhance athleticism needs some sort of loaded carry in it.” 👉 Dr. Stuart McGill

Loaded carries are great for training grip, core strength and stability, coordination, work capacity, and can play a huge role in shoulder health.

loaded carries

Maybe more importantly, loaded carries are a self-limiting exercise/movement, training our postural stabilizers and not our larger prime movers. In sport and in life, when our postural stabilizers fail, our potential for injury increase to a large degree, so it makes sense to train those stabilizers to be more resilient and do their jobs.

Some of the carries that we utilize regularly are farmers, suitcase, Goblet, Bottoms Up, Overhead, and various Combo carries, all of which have different uses and reasons we use them.

Good Coaching

The sign of a good coach in any sport 👉 they are curious, change their minds and evolve as the years go by.

Today on Twitter Coach Craig Cheek said that he’s done a 180 on a few things, all of which I completely agree with.

  1. Squat or Die ➡️ Though not popular with the squat or die community of strength coaches or the strength coaches that have an emotional attachment to back squatting, but other then Goblet Squatting we don’t squat on two legs with a bar (back or front squat) at all. Heavy doses of split squat variations and 1-Leg Squats make up the majority of our ‘squatting’. The UNH Women’s Hockey upper class(wo)men haven’t done a front or back squat and over 3 years yet are extremely 💪 👉 both those split squats are sets of 5 at 200lbs.
  2. Olympic Lift or Die ➡️ Our power/explosive work has evolved a lot the last 1-2 years. We don’t clean from the floor or Snatch with a barbell (not sure people have the shoulder mobility to do so). We clean from the Hang and 1-Arm DB Snatch. We sprint a lot. We sled sprint. We throw med balls in various planes. We broad jump against bands. We Trap Bar/2DB Jump Squat.
  3. Squats and Deadlifts are all the core training you need ➡️ Athletes need Anti-Extension work. They need Anti-Rotation work. They need Anti-Lateral Flexion work. They should be crawling. They should be carrying heavy things.

Building a Better Me in 2019

“Consistency is the most important skill when it comes to your health and performance.” – Matthew Ibrahim

Yesterday was page 1️⃣ of 3️⃣6️⃣5️⃣. Tried to set the tone by starting the new year off strong with a pretty challenging 5-20-5 circuit ( @kev_in_carr / @movementasmedicine ). Going into it I thought RFE’s would be the worst but the 2️⃣0️⃣ push ups were brutal.

When looking at my fitness/health goals for 2019, the goal for me going forward isn’t just one good workout here and there, but consistently stringing together better training week in and week out ➡️ too often I let my busy schedule be an excuse for nothing consistently doing the right thing.

That being said, here are my 2019 health/fitness goals ⬇️
✅ Strength train 4x a week 👉 a combination of standard lifts and strength circuits like the one above
✅ Condition 4x a week 👉 a combination of quicker (10-15 minute) sessions after lifts or longer (25-35 minute) standalone sessions on the Assault Bike
✅ Less ☕️, more 💧
✅ Move daily 👉 generally speaking my mobility is 💩 and I need to fix it
✅ 7️⃣-8️⃣ hours of 😴 💤 a night

“Set some goals. Stay quiet about them. Smash the hell out of them. Clap for your damn self.” – Diddy (minus the staying 🤫 part)